How to Set Up a Vivarium for a Bearded Dragon
Pippa Elliott, MRCVS, contributed to the writing of this article. Veterinarian Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, has worked with companion animals and surgeries for more than 30 years. She earned a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has spent more than 20 years working at the same animal hospital in her hometown. 48,014 people have visited this article.
As more people learn about the amazing creatures that reptiles are, bearded dragons are becoming increasingly popular as pets. The tank or container where your bearded dragon resides is called a vivarium. The environment must be created to closely resemble the one the bearded dragon lives in in the wild. Correct vivarium setup is essential for your bearded dragon’s health, since the wrong temperature, the wrong substrate, and a lack of UV light can all have potentially fatal consequences for your pet. Make sure the habitat is properly set up if you are considering getting this breed of pet.
1 Include more furnishings. To enhance the vivarium’s amenities for your dragon, you can add more items. Sturdy branches that have been sandblasted and sterilized are another piece of furniture you may put to the vivarium. As a result, they are free of bacteria and parasites that may otherwise thrive in the warm environment of the vivarium. To enable the dragon to climb if he so chooses, position the branches on a gentle upward slope.  Reptile Surgery and Medicine is a research source. Madder. Editor: Saunders
2Set some plastic plants in the ground. The vivarium appears to be lush and green thanks to plastic fake plants. Live plants are quite difficult to maintain, so avoid placing them in the vivarium. Live plants will wilt in the heat, and watering them will make the air more humid, which will stimulate the growth of mold. Artificial plants made of plastic look wonderful and are simple to maintain.
3 Include ornaments.
You can add more logs, bamboo shoots, and rocks to the tank in addition to the plants, the hide, and a branch. Even a rock structure is possible. It will look nicer to you and provide him more to walk through as a result. X Information source
Make the tank’s background a tank. Get a tank background to put on the back of your glass tank if you have one. It helps your pet feel safer than a barren space. Additionally, it will be attractive to you and your family to view. X Information source
Setting Up the Vivarium Floors
1Select the proper flooring for the base. For a variety of reasons, many of the materials marketed as suited for vivariums but intended for use in the bottom of the enclosure are not actually safe. The primary hazards are poisoning and gastrointestinal impaction (if the bearded dragon swallows some substrate while eating, it may cause a blockage in the colon) (some of the products, especially wood shavings, contain oils that are potentially toxic to bearded dragons.) X Information source Use no substrates that are based on sand. Since they cannot be digested, when ingested, they will probably cause a plug to form in the digestive tract, which could be fatal. Additionally, stay away from any pine or cedar shavings because their natural oils may be hazardous.
2Look for rough substances. Use butcher paper, paper towels, newspaper, reptile carpet, or rough tile for juvenile bearded dragons. To enable the bearded dragon to run over and prevent sliding, the tile shouldn’t be smooth but should have some traction. You may either leave such items on the floor for the bearded dragon to utilize as an adult or you can use sifted silicone-free play sand.  X Information source Repti-carpet, a robust variety of felt carpet made specifically for use in vivaria, is another option. Since this is washable, you may take out the entire carpet when the dragon soiled it and replace it with a spare. This does imply that for an adult who poops once each week, you need at least two pieces. For a child who may poop several times each day, this might not be realistic.  Reptile Surgery and Medicine is a research source. Madder. Editor: Saunders
3Consider aspen shavings. You can use aspen shavings as a different type of flooring. These are a natural product without any harmful oils. This allows the dragon to dig if he so chooses and is more aesthetically pleasing than newspaper. However, because the vivarium’s high temperature might promote mold growths that are bad for the dragon, you must take care to prevent the aspen from becoming wet from spilled water. X Information source
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